Be Part of the Solution: Train To Become An Urban Forest Steward This Spring

Forest StewardsBe part of the solution: become an Urban Forest Steward, Seattle Parks and partners offer free training this spring. Sign up now!

In ongoing efforts to preserve and restore Seattle’s urban forest, a continuing partnership comprised of Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS), Green Seattle Partnership (GSP), and the King County Conservation District offers free stewardship training this spring on consecutive Fridays and three Saturdays between April 19 and June 28. No experience is necessary.

Details about the class schedule and venue will become available in the next few weeks at and Enrollment is limited, so if you are interested in becoming a Native Plant/Forest Steward, please contact Joy Wood, WNPS Stewardship Coordinator, now at or 206-527-3210, to have your name placed on a mailing list to be notified about the details of the program as soon as they become available. Graduates of the WNPS stewardship training will be cross trained as GSP Forest Stewards.

The goal of the 2013 program is to provide advanced training in forest restoration that will prepare current and new WNPS/GSP Forest Stewards to contribute a major role in helping Seattle Parks restore 2,500 acres of park urban forests by 2025.

WNPS has graduated more than 500 stewards since 1996; they have contributed more than 120,000 volunteer hours dedicated to education, conservation and restoration of native flora in Seattle and surrounding areas. The 100 hours of specialized training from regional experts includes Puget Sound ecology, native plant identification and uses, urban forest restoration, invasive management and community volunteer management. In exchange for the 100 hours of free training, Stewards are asked to contribute 75 hours of volunteer service in one of six designated Seattle Parks restoration areas and 25 volunteer hours to WNPS public outreach projects in the Seattle area.

To learn more about WNPS and GSP stewardship programs, please go to:  and for additional information.

Community Responds with Six Proposals for SWS Green Incubator $1000 Grant

Sustainable West Seattle received six applications for our Green Incubator grant program.  On Tuesday evening, February 19, at SWS’s monthly forum at the West Seattle Senior Center, the six proponents presented their ideas and how their project would benefit the community and be an engaging and sustainable component of life here in West Seattle.

Listed below are the six proposals in alphabetical order:

From Left to Right - Steve Richmond, (TBA), Tamsen Spengler, Oleana Perry, Raynette Iding, Tonya Gurb, and Stu Hennessey.
Left to Right are the folks who presented Green Incubator proposals – Steve Richmond, Karen Sison, Tamsen Spengler, Oleana Perry, Raynette Iding, Tonya Gurb, and Stu Hennessey.

Delridge Produce Cooperative Membership Outreach

This project would help the Coop build membership in advance of their plans to open a storefront operation on Delridge Way in  2014.  The project would use the funds to purchase accounting software which would help with membership dues and expenses, and to assist in the development of a professional brochure and membership agreement for Coop members, and finally, the funds would be used to provide items such at t-shirts and reusable tote bags to help with the Coop’s branding and community outreach. The Coop has until June 2014 to build membership and get ready for the opening, which will be on the ground floor of a structure being built one block south of the Delridge Library.  The proposal was submitted by Ranete Iding, of Delridge Produce Cooperative.

DIY Bikes

The project would use the funds to purchase two bicycle work stations, including advanced bike tool sets and workbenches, which would be based out of the West Seattle Tool Library.  The DIY Bikes program would work with partners such as SW Youth and Family Services and other local organizations to create a youth-oriented bike maintenance and repair program modeled after Columbia City’s BikeWorks.  Used and abused bikes will be restored, fixed and turned into functioning bicycles by participating youth working under professional adult tutelage. Bicycles which have been restored will be offered for sale at very low rates to provide low-cost transportation options for area residents, and the sales could help defray ongoing expenses.  The proposal was submitted by Stu Hennessey, Alki Bike and Board, who has assisted in a similar program in White Center.

Seed Rain: Only You Can Prevent Plant Invasions

This project would use the funds to establish a website ( that teaches the public that invasive seed sources that rain down in our forests come from private property.  The website would help teach people how to control seed rain and would also list local gardeners and horticulturalists for hire who can also identify and provide information and methods to control the seed source.  The funds would provide for website expenses including graphic design.  The website would serve as an aggregating source for professional firms and individuals seeking to help remove invasives or provide homeowner advice on how to control invasive species.  If holly and other invasives can be better controlled, a principal primary beneficiary would be the West Seattle Greenbelt where invasive clearing is underway.  Steve Richmond, Garden Cycles, submitted the proposal.

Timebank of West Seattle

The project would establish a timebank in West Seattle using expertise and assistance from Timebanks of Puget Sound (TOPS) and Eastside Timebank, two existing examples of the concept.  The funds would allow the group to develop outreach programs and solicit members by allowing development of a website to be created to recruit members and by purchasing a laptop computer which would be used in community briefings to explain the Timebank methodology.  The website would allow users to post times they’ve donated and to find folks who would be able to provide a service or offer their time in exchange.  Timebanks operate as a clearing house for individuals donating time and service and those needing time or service.  The proposal was submitted by Tamsen Spengler, a member of the West Seattle Timebank steering group.

West Duwamish Greenbelt Kiosks

This project would use the funds to create three informational kiosks at three locations in the West Duwamish Greenbelt.  Each kiosk will have a permanent display and an adjacent community-posting corkboard area.  The permanent display would include full color trail maps, plant and wildlife information about the area around the kiosk and the Greenbelt in general, historical facts about the area, and information on how restoration occurs and how to volunteer.  The funds would be used for research, design and printing of the informational material for each of the three kiosks and for installation in their respective kiosks.  The proposal was submitted by Nature Consortium, which has been working for years on restoring the West Greenbelt Greenbelt, and noted that folks are using the trails and that wayfinding is now required.

White Center Community Orchard Catalyst

This project would use the funds to develop flyers and other material to promote neighborhood involvement by using the cleanup and removal of invasive species from a parcel of land at the corner of 102nd Ave SW and 1st Ave SW.  The cleanup work would begin in Fall 2013, dependant on working with the property owner.  The project proposes to clean up the site and prepare the site for use as a community garden serving the community around the Green Bridge housing area.  The project would serve as a catalyst for greater community involvement in the unincorporated North Highline area by involving neighbors in the cleanup, the development of the community orchard, and the subsequent planting and harvesting in the garden.  The proposal was submitted by Tonya Gurb for the community.

Judging Process: The process of judging which one of the six proposals will be awarded the $1000 grant funding began on Tuesday night.  Following the presentation of all six Green Incubator ideas, SWS members and participants were invited to use sticky dots (small smiley face stickers) and place the dots next to projects based on their preference.  We handed out 12 dots per person and encouraged users to divide the dots according to which projects they felt were worthy.  Individuals could place all 12 dots on a single proposal or they could split the vote among all six proposals.SWS-Green-Incubator-Sticker-Map

We are working on a Survey Monkey poll to further solicit opinions and thoughts about the six ideas.  The proposal survey will be posted and remain live through March 15 at which time SWS will download the results and begin a compilation.  The Sustainable West Seattle Coordinating Committee (SWS’s board of directors) will review the dot-map from the February 19 presentation, review the Survey Monkey results, and review each of the six proposals to rate them according to a set of criteria established prior to the announcement of the grant opportunity.

The rating criteria, cited on the grant application form, are:

  • Estimated Funding Needs – What will the money of this grant be spent on?   Will the money from this grant be sufficient for the project, or do you foresee pursuing other funds (such as Seattle DON grants);
  • Durability & Feasibility – How long would the project last?  Would it have ongoing material, monetary, or volunteer needs?  What would be the hurdles for success for the project (volunteer interest, city regulations, coordination with other organizations, etc.);
  • Educational Possibilities – How does/will this project communicate sustainability to our community? What are the educational goals/components of this project;
  • Sustainability – How would this project affect sustainability and/or the resilience of our neighborhood?
  • Locality – What part of our local community does this project involve, support and improve?  How?
  • Community –  How would or can this project build community? How would it be supported by the community?

Project Funding

SWS will select the grant recipient prior to our March 18 Community forum, which will be held at the South Seattle Community College Horticulture Center and Community Orchard of West Seattle site.  We will announce the winner at the March forum and post the winner here, on the SWS website.  For the projects which are not selected, SWS will work with the project proposers to see what other grant opportunities exist and will help with grant writing should those project managers desire or need assistance.


SWS Kicks Off and Will Provide Grant Funding for Green Project Incubator

SWSGreenLightbulbSustainable West Seattle is soliciting proposals for our new Green Project Incubator grants program. The grant for $1000 will fund small projects or provide seed money for larger endeavors.

Groups or individuals wishing to submit proposals should download the application form (see link below) and fill out the application and bring to our February 19 meeting at the Senior Center in Alaska Junction (4217 SW Oregon St. around the corner from California Ave. SW).

At our Sustainable West Seattle meeting tonight, groups or individuals with a proposal will be asked to present their idea and to interact with the audience describing their idea and the impact that project will have on the community.  We will have more detail on the February proposal presentations here so check back.

The Green Project Incubator builds sustainability and resilience in our West Seattle neighborhood. SWS will support the chosen project by providing funding, expertise and volunteer hours to make the project a success. Projects will be chosen by the SWS Project Committee and announced at our March general meeting.

SWS projects begin as ideas from the community, receiving both funding and volunteer support resulting in successful programs. Past examples of these groundbreaking and grass-roots originated ideas include:

  • West Seattle Tool Library, which now has more than 1,000 members.
  • Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) demonstrates and encourages urban gardening and began as a project of Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle.
  • Tox-Ick education program engages Puget Sound residents about the problem of polluted runoff and the simple actions individuals can take to prevent it.
  • West Seattle Spokespeople facilitates a transition from car to bike and is allied with Spokespeople U.S.

The CoHo Team of Windermere Agents  is providing SWS with a generous grant to allow SWS to move forward with this innovative project.

Download the Application Form

application for green innovation proposals

2013 Green Project Incubator Application – click on the image to open a new window with the Grant Application PDF file.  Save the file to your local drive, print,  fill out and bring to the February 19 meeting at the Senior Center.

What Kinds of Projects Are Possible

We offer the list below as a partial idea of the types of projects you might propose, but don’t let these ideas limit your creative thinking!

What type of projects could one start with 1000$?

  • Community or neighborhood dinner educating on food issues;
  • After-school hased class on sustainability or food related issues;
  • Neighborhood green-space, garden, composting, bee-keeping, or chicken coop;
  • Collective composting;
  • Neighborhood-level sharing library (Books? Tools? DVDs? Dishes & Plates? Other items…);
  • LED-bulb replacement neighborhood-wide;
  • Bike share on California Ave. SW;
  • Neighborhood-level Food preservation club;
  • Raingarden in a good educational spot;
  • Your IDEA!

What  could one get with 1000$?

  • A domain name;
  • A website;
  • Construction materials;
  • Seeds;
  • Materials for raised beds;
  • Bike parts & materials;
  • LED-lightbulbs;
  • Books;
  • Food;
  • Stationary and other outreach items such as folders, pamphlets;
  • Poster or brochure printing or banner creation.

Sustainable West Seattle will also provide 501(c)(3) services and additional management advice and services depending on the needs and capabilities of the grant winner.  SWS will also lend its expertise in grant writing to those who submit but are not selected.  The City has numerous grant programs and SWS has been a successful proposer for these grants in the past and will offer such assistance to projects which don’t win but have sufficient traction to go for other grant awards.


Our Mission:

Sustainable West Seattle educates and advocates for urban sustainability in our local community. SWS envisions a West Seattle community of empowered citizens who actively lead toward greater self-reliance, local democracy, social justice, and existence in harmony with life on earth. SWS meets the 3rd Monday each month at 7:00 pm. Because some meetings occur in different locations than the Senior Center, always check our website for location.

SWS projects – prior examples of the innovation we’re seeking, all these were initiated by SWS members with an idea and not much else.

  • West Seattle Tool Library is a community-led project to provide pay-what-you-can community access to a wide range of tools, training, and relevant advice. By providing this service, the West Seattle Tool Library aims to inspire its community to participate in community projects, such as park restorations, and pursue sustainability through fun projects like backyard gardens, home energy improvements, and water harvesting.
  • Tox-Ick is an outreach and education effort born out of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Sustainable West Seattle.  The objective of the program is to help educate a critical mass of Puget Sound residents about the problem of polluted runoff and the simple actions individuals can engage in to stop it.  Online resources are available in the fight against the Tox-Ick Monster.
  • Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) provides a home-scale model that demonstrates how much food can be grown on a city-sized lot. Our produce goes to our volunteers, neighbors and local food security programs while we provide a venue for public agricultural education and community gathering.
  • West Seattle Spokespeople facilitates a transition from car to bike and is allied with Spokespeople U.S. Our goal is to make West Seattle a more bike-able community through education, group rides and assisting riders in developing their skills.

About CoHo Realty:  

  • The CoHo Team of Windermere Agents believes that where we call home is important. We believe that home—a place of shelter, a vibrant neighborhood and community, a sense of safety and belonging—should be obtainable by all. CoHo Realtors donate a portion of their profits to projects that support housing and community. Community + Home = CoHo.


American Lung Association Offering Healthy Home Assessments

American Lung Assoc LogoThe American Lung Association (Washington) wants you to know about their Healthy Home Assessment Program.

Do you know someone who has chronic headaches? Stuffy noses? Sore throats? Did you know that indoor health hazards could be contributing to these ailments? You have the right to feel healthy in your own home!
The Master Home Environmentalist Volunteer Program at the American Lung Association can help improve one’s health by ameliorating indoor air problems. Our members employ a holistic approach that helps residents recognize indoor air pollution problems – such as mold or dust – and works towards finding free or low-cost ways to control the toxins in their home.

These home evaluations are great for children, the elderly, pregnant women, as well as other individuals with lung sensitivity including asthma or allergy patients. Nevertheless, these assessments can be helpful for anyone concerned about the condition of their home. Free indoor air quality assessments are available in your Seattle neighborhood all year.

Why wait until you get sick? Preventative measures are safer, cheaper, and easier than waiting until you get sick. Call today 206-512-3280 to schedule an assessment or use email and send